Aulander offers free gun locks

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 18, 2004

AULANDER – Prevention is the best cure. That’s the mindset behind a national movement to provide firearm safety kits to private citizens.

Through a partnership with Project ChildSafe, those kits will be offered, free of charge, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. here March 22 at the Aulander Town Hall. Four hundred kits, which include a gun lock, will be available for distribution.

&uot;We encourage residents to pick up a Project ChildSafe safety kit so that they can securely store their firearm,&uot; said Jimmy Barmer, Chief of the Aulander Police Department.

Chief Barmer added that each kit contains a safety curriculum and a cable-style gun lock. Those locks fit on most types of handguns, rifles and shotguns.

&uot;The goal of this safety program is to prevent a child or any other unauthorized person from gaining access to a firearm within a residence,&uot; stressed Barmer.

Project ChildSafe is a program developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. They plan to distribute millions of firearm safety kits throughout the country over the next year. The program is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Justice. Additional funding is provided by the firearms industry.

By partnering with Project ChildSafe, the Aulander Police Department is participating in a growing national effort to promote firearms safety education to all gun owners. Project ChildSafe will distribute gun lock safety kits in all 50 states and five US territories.

&uot;We are pleased to have the Aulander Police Department as a Project ChildSafe partner,&uot; said Dee Dee Dockins, spokesperson for the program. &uot;Project ChildSafe is an important step forward in helping to ensure that all firearm owners fully understand their responsibilities with respect to the safe handling and storage of firearms.&uot;

&uot;If this program saves the life of just one child or just one adult or prevents a non life-threatening injury in an accidental shooting,

then it’s worth all the effort,&uot; stressed Chief Barmer.

Even with a gun lock, Barmer said that all firearms within a residence should be stored in a secured location.

&uot;My best advice is to have a gun owner to store their weapons in a location that cannot be accessed by children or any other unauthorized person,&uot; said Barmer. &uot;In addition, I would advise gun owners to keep their ammunition in a secure location. Ideally, that should be stored away in an area completely separate from where the weapons are kept.&uot;